A NUMBER of prominent Australian’s gathered in Ballarat last night to preach the importance of strong communities, and in particular friendly neighbours.
The ‘friendly neighbours, strong community’ forum at St Patrick’s College was an initiative of Neighbour Day and aimed to inspire people to get out more and engage with others in the community.
Dr Sally Cockburn, or Dr Feelgood, as she is known, gave a talk aimed at getting everyone’s mental health up to scratch.
“It’s all about providing connected communities,” Dr Cockburn said.
“It has become too easy to live in a rural community or city where we live next to someone who we’ve never even met.”
An initiative set up 10 years ago by Neighbour Day founder Andrew Heslop, it followed the discovery of a woman’s body who had been dead in her home without anyone knowing for more than two years.
Dr Cockburn encouraged people to engage with others in their communities and said it was very simple.
“It could be as easy as joining the local knitting group,” she said.
“If people are together and interacting with each other, everyone will be healthier.”